If you’re within the UK, you can watch Awake, starring Alex Bulmer and Margo Cargill, online for free. It’s available on BFI player as part of their groundbreaking new collection Disabled Britain on Film. And while you’re there, check out the cornucopia of other great films – narratives, docs and historical material, captioned and audio described.
Follow this link: Awake on BFI player
Kate Lovell interviewed me for this article on Deaf and disability film festivals. Lots of food for thought.
Wonderful week screening Awake at FilmFest Dresden and presenting a workshop in Accessible Filmmaking. Introducing an inclusive process that started with access auditing, nine participating filmmakers were challenged to create a short film complete with access features in just three days.
Day one looked at the representation of D/deaf and disabled people in contemporary cinema, covering both bad examples (from the pitiful to the heroic) to best practice where disability is just one aspect of the characters’ identities. Through a series of writing exercises, we came up with a scenario for our visiting “talent”: British actress Margo Cargill (Awake, Birds of a Feather, White Man Van) and Maxime D. Pomerleau (Prends Moi, Fubar Age of Computer) a fantastic Québecoise actress that we met at Look & Roll in Basel. Margo is blind and Maxime uses a wheelchair, so this was an opportunity to script disabled characters, and look at how the filmmaking process could be adapted to make it accessible for both of them.
Day two was all about filming, and the participants brought all of their combined skills to the shoot. The improvised story took place in a hospital waiting room and gave us room to explore the differences in public and private health care in Germany. A row broke out! Just for the cameras, of course.
I quickly edited the footage back at my hotel room (while all the other participants attended festival parties – but I’m not bitter!) and Day 3 was about adding access features of captioning and audio description. This was the first introduction to audio description for many of the participants and they were engaged and curious how to incorporate AD into their own projects using standard or sometimes creative methods. AD was written and then recorded, each person narrating a bit to create three separate versions. It was so interesting to then compare the different approaches – proving that AD is in fact an art in itself.
The Barrier Free cinema (Kino Ohne Barrieren) programme at Dresden Filmfest was curated by Gerhard Protzchka. Coordination of the workshop was by Stefanie Forestier, FilmFest Dresden. Participating filmmakers included: Becky Hellwig, Caspar Schleicher, Christian Rabending, Pascale Grange, Franz Muller, Raoul Kevenhorster, Johannes Kurschner, Allen Lai, Hanna Prenzel.
The first recent triptych I made was from photos taken exploring Scotland with Margo Cargill as research for our new film, April in the Country. Lately I’ve done a few more April in the Country triptychs, but I’ve also been combining photos from other travels, sometimes combining different places into one triptych.
They’re like storyboards. I love to see the new ideas that juxtaposition of one image with another creates, sometimes it’s psychological, sometimes formal, sometimes a mix of both. They leave a lot of room for people to come up with your own story or interpretation.
You can see more of these on my Photos page.Photos
You can purchase limited edition C-type prints of these photos, have them mounted or framed, and delivered to you HERE!
Tim Jeeves and me in conversation about our week workshopping his live performance, The Kindness of Strangers, to enhance accessibility in advance of DaDaFest International 2016 on 1 December!
Audio description of triptych image :
In March 2016, actor Margo Cargill and I travelled to the Isles of Skye, Harris and Lewis as research and development of a new film we’re working on. April in the Country will be a road movie following a blind woman as she travels to Scotland’s Western Isles in search of her mother. It hardly rained, there were zero midges, and I got a lot of great photos of radiant Margo and the stunning landscapes.
As you may know, filmpro has recently moved to Bow Arts, whose annual Open Studios event is May 17 and 18. Music, booze, schmooze and people can come into filmpro studio and see projections of some of these photos, along with work by other filmpro artists Caglar Kimyoncu and Zeynep Dagli.
PLUS A triptych I created (see above) has been selected for the Bow Open group show, curated by Anj Smith. which shows at the Nunnery Gallery (same location) until 28 August.183 Bow Road, E3 2SJ
Open Studios: Friday 17 June 6-9 PM, Saturday 18 June 1-6 PM